In Australia this week is NAIDOC Week, when we celebrate the rich culture of Indigenous Australians. The beautiful artwork of the poster is by Wiradjuri Aboriginal artist Lani Balzan.

2016 National NAIDOC Poster

Meanwhile J.K. Rowling continues to ignore discussion of her appropriation of Native American culture for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the latest installment “Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

After reading Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson (Black Dog Books, 2015) I blogged about white authors writing indigenous characters. I mentioned Justine Larbalestier, a white author who’s written first person black characters. Last month she blogged about why she no longer does this.

Justine Larbalestier details three steps on how to write a character from a community other than your own ie. white writer, black protag. And how, despite the best intentions, this can all go wrong. Her most recent book My Sister Rosa has a white protag and other characters from a diversity of races.

Her most important point is,

“Whose story are you really trying to tell?”

If the answer is: me, the white author, don’t use another culture to tell your story. J.K. Rowling didn’t get the memo and continues her white colonial legacy.

Native American Loralee Sepsey wrote about her love of everything Harry Potter and her response to J.K. Rowling’s whitewashing of her culture and North American history. Read Sepsey’s heartfelt piece and Paula Young Lee’s Salon article that links to Debbie Reese’s thoughts and SF writer Beth Revis’ reddit thread.

In celebration of our indigenous cultures the world over, we need more well written Indigenous characters, more Indigenous writers and artists, and more Indigenous publishers like Magabala Books.